A TC Bike Plow Experiment
Norte is putting the TC Bike Plow to the test this winter. An experiment of sorts to see what bike-powered snow clearing is capable of. We have committed to help keep the Boardman Lake Trail (BLT) Bridge and boardwalk clear by way of pedal power. So far, so good. Who knew that a simple push broom wedge could pulled behind a bike could work so well?
Hooked up to a Fat Bike, the plows turn into snow clearing beasts. Fat bikes are made for plowing. Our Dr. Auer-designed DIY plows perform well, too. Really well, actually. They make a great 2 foot path to walk/ride on.
In addition to the BLT Bridge, we sometimes bike plow Central/Slab Town/Boardman neighborhood sidewalks, the BLT to 14th Street and Bayside TART for fun:
We’re going to keep plowin’ away because how else are we going to get to the library and Oryana? If you want to put your Fat Bike to work and do some community good, we’re looking for more awesome people to help. Email us at email@example.com to get involved.
More info on our bike-powered/grassroots efforts to keep our neighborhood sidewalks and trails clear HERE.
How-To Instructional to build your own bike plow HERE.
Updated Traverse City bike plow photo album HERE.
Read about our Winter Biking To School efforts using the TC Bike Plow HERE.
Bike-Powered Snowplow: Clearing Sidewalks. Getting fit. Building Community.
As part of TART’s awesome Snow Clearing Initiative, NORTE! will be using pedal power to plow our neighborhood trails and sidewalks. Using custom bike plows built and designed locally by our neighbors, Mr. Otwell and Dr. Auer, we will be part of a team responsible for clearing the Boardman Lake Bridge trail, Murchie bridge underpass and neighborhood sidewalks including those on the Cross-Town TART Route.
Dads/Moms are also using the plows to pull in front of their kids on the way to school. These plows are the only reason why our Bike To Fridays are still happening. They help make biking to school in TC a four season reality. Our Bike Trains would certainly be snowed-in without them.
Pulling the plow isn’t easy though. You will work. Your legs will burn. Your heart will pound. But, you’ll have fun doing it. A workout with a purpose. Get fit and help your neighbors in the process. Way better than going to the gym or spinning your trainer in the basement.
No special equipment required. A regular mountain bike will do the job in most conditions. Knobby/aggressive tires are recommended as is low gearing because it gets tough when the snow is deep. Our Winter Bike Share is open for the season so if you need a beater winter bike to pull the plow with, you can check one out. Beater bikes make the best winter bikes.
Thanks to a collaboration with TART, the Auer Wedge plow will be available for purchase at well under cost. Norte! TC and TART are helping to bring more bike plows to more neighbors in more neighborhoods. We are harnessing the power of the winter bicycle to build community. To make TC a more accessible place for walkers and cyclists. Neighbors helping neighbors. Zero emissions. Clean energy. Infinite MPG. That’s pretty awesome.
If you want to build your own, we’ve also open-sourced Dr. Auer’s design to bring the Traverse City Bike Plow to the greater DIY/maker community. How-To Instructional here.
A Photo Gallery of all of our plows can be found here.
We are looking for a few volunteers/donors to help pull, build or sponsor a Auer Wedge plow. If interested, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.